Just another tequila sunrise... ;)
The early Mayan city of Coba. Surrounded by four ancient lagoons, the name Coba translates to "waters stirred by wind."
Archaeological evidence suggests that Coba was inhabited as early as 100 AD, however, the population did not begin to surge until between 200 and 600 AD. At its peak, between 600 and 900 AD, archaeologists estimate that Coba was home to nearly 50,000 inhabitants.
At its peak, between 600 and 900 AD, archaeologists estimate that Coba was home to nearly 50,000 inhabitants. As one of the largest Mayan cities, tours are taken on bicycle or, for a slight upcharge, you may take a ride on the "Mayan Taxi."
Very little of the great city of Coba has yet been excavated from its deep jungle canopy.
Many of these large, stone tablets have been found around the grounds of Coba. It is on these tablets that the Mayans recorded information about their culture, rituals, astronomy and predictions for the future. It is on one of these tablets in Coba that we see the date December 21, 2012 as the statement of the end of the Mayan Long Count Calendar.
At a height of 42 meters, the Nohoch Mul pyramid is the tallest Mayan pyramid in the Yucatan, and is still open for visitors to climb. They are planning, however, to shut this down at the end of 2013.
There are 120 stairs to the top of the Nohoch Mul pyramid.
The view from the top of Nohoch Mul. During the time of Coba, only the king was allowed to climb the pyramid. In the distance, you can see the lagoons surrounding the city. (Oddly, enough, the stairs are right in front of you...yes, they are that steep.)
Commemorative "we made it" photo!
The view from the top of Nohoch Mul. During the time of Coba, only the king was allowed to climb the pyramid. In the distance, you can see the lagoons surrounding the city.
The chamber at the top of Nohoch Mul. You can see the descending God carved over the doorway.
There's the stairway!
This particular pyramid is a solid structure located at the center of the sacbe (system of paved, white, stone roads.) The residents of Coba would climb this structure as a watch tower so that they could see who was coming in all directions.
This cleared area is a portion of the original Mayan sacbe, or paved, white, stone road system. The Mayans built many roads between their great cities, although they had no pack animals and did not use any carts. People would travel along these roads to different cities for ceremonies and trade. You can see a patch of the original pavement from sacbe in this photo.
This raised area is another portion of the original Coba sacbe. Most of the sacbe were raised as high as nine feet above the jungle floor.
Many of the sacbeob (plural) are quite wide - as wide as 50-70 feet in some areas!